Buckets of Fun All Summer Long

The official start of summer is right around the corner, and there’s no time to waste as you make certain your calendar is chock full of adventure through the end of September. In the interest of keeping planning to a minimum, we compiled a Bucket List of activities throughout Southwest Michigan, Northwest Indiana, Chicagoland, and Southeast Wisconsin that will have you creating memories all summer long.

Field of Dreams

There is just under 100 miles between Milwaukee and Chicago, yet there are three Major League Baseball stadiums where America’s favorite pastime can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Catch the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field or head to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. If you prefer Chicago’s South Side, grab a hot dog and beer at Guaranteed Rate Field, where the White Sox play.

Let the Music Play

In addition to baseball, Wrigley Field also hosts several not-to-be-missed concerts during the summer. Artists including Dead and Company, Motley Crue and Def Leppard, Zac Brown Band, Chris Stapleton, Lady Gaga, and the Lumineers are all scheduled to perform.

The sweet sounds of summer continue at Ravinia Festival, one of the oldest outdoor music venues in the country. Located on Chicago’s North Shore, Ravinia ranges from symphony performances to acts including Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks. Pack your picnic basket and take in a variety of musical genres under the stars.

Billed as the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest takes place over three weeks on ten stages throughout downtown Milwaukee. Acts include Jason Aldean, The Counting Crows and The Backstreet Boys. Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza is also a great way to see multiple artists over a four-day period.

The Great Outdoors

Perhaps what makes summer most special throughout Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin is the proximity to Lake Michigan. The lake not only creates an opportunity for boating, stand up paddle boarding, and fishing, but provides a natural landscape of dunes along the Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana shoreline. Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan and Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana both have natural dune formations rising hundreds of feet above the lake where guests can hang glide (permit required), climb, or simply take in the stunning views.

Thrill seekers can see Lake Michigan from a different vantage point through a dive charter out of Hammond, Indiana. Scuba certified passengers are taken on an adventure through the waters off the Chicago shoreline to observe the mysterious shipwrecks that rest 150 feet below the surface. Certification classes are offered in both Illinois and Indiana.

Lake Geneva’s Big Foot Beach State Park also offers multiple ways to experience the outdoors this summer, but on an inland lake setting. One of Wisconsin’s finest gems, the park features five miles of hiking trails, a family campground, swimming beach, picnic, and playground areas, as well as personal watercraft and motorboat rentals.

Lakeside Links

The Midwest is renowned for its championship golf courses and this area is no exception. A Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Harbor Shores Golf Club just hosted the 2022 Senior PGA Championship, and with sweeping views of Lake Michigan, the course is as beautiful as it is challenging. The Inn is a luxury resort adjacent to the course offering a full-service spa, pool, and fine dining.

Kohler, Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits, home of six Majors and the 43rd Ryder Cup, is another opportunity for world-class golf that’s just a short drive and can be coupled with a weekend getaway at the five-star American Club Resort Hotel. The destination has two courses that are sculpted along the Lake Michigan shoreline and are known for their open and rugged terrain, while the resort offers access to the Kohler Waters Spa, 13 dining options, shopping, courtyards, and walking trails.

This list should keep you busy regardless of where your interests lie, but it only scratches the surface of events, activities, and destinations that can be experienced this summer. For more information, check out local visitor’s bureau websites and calendar listings.

Written by Angie Sell